The latter has been confirmed as the big villain of the film, but that's the only real detail that's been released about the character.
Blanchett took the time to share some details about Hela's backstory - and motivation - in te film, and she sounds like a force to be reckoned with.
"She's been locked away for millennia getting more and more cross, and then, with a mistake, she gets unleashed and she ain't getting back in that box."
The article also noted that Blanchett did a lot of work with Zoe Bell - an accomplished stuntwoman - to prepare for the role. She even learned the Brazillian martial art capoeira in order to be more portray the warrior.
Hela is going to be on a warpath during this film, and it's not looking good for Thor and Hulk. Anyone who stands in Hela's way needs to be ready for some serious danger.
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In Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!
Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.